The TOJ writers offer their opinions on the best and worst picks that the New York Jets made in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Brandin Echols: I’d be lying if I claimed to know a thing about Brandin Echols before this. I simply placed him in the “worst” category because I didn’t know much about him. He very well may be a diamond in the rough, and if that’s the case, I apologize Brandin Echols. I am rooting for you. What I can say about Echols is that he ran an incredible 4.28 40 yard dash and accumulated 108 total tackles in just 24 games at Kentucky. His athleticism is likely what intrigued the Jets enough to take him.
Jonathan Marshall: No disrespect to Jonathan, but I hated this pick. It’s more about this not being an area of need for the Jets as DL is the one strength they had going into the draft. My assumption is that he was BPA but I would have preferred a dart at another position. Another IOL or even the kicker out of Miami would have made more sense here.
Jonathan Marshall: If my worst pick is a 6th round dart throw at pick 207, it appears that we are moving in the right direction. While I understand the value of taking a defensive lineman with athleticism like Marshall’s, interior defensive line is a position of strength for the Jets. Even though it was their last pick in this draft, I still felt that it could have been allocated better to a position of need.
Hamsah Nasirildeen: Injuries aside, Hamsah is a top-45 talent whose athleticism and versatility evoke shades of Isaiah Simmons. Drafting him in the sixth round was hands down the best pick of Day 3. I am definitely skeptical of the Jets’ plan to convert Hamsah to a linebacker, but believe that his athleticism and playmaking instincts make him a slam-dunk wherever he plays. If Hamsah is healthy, he will have a similar impact for the team as Bryce Hall did last season.
Jamien Sherwood: The title of worst pick could easily go to any of the Jets Day 3 defensive backs except Hamsah, but I elected to give this superlative to Jamien Sherwood because he was taken earliest. Sherwood is a below-average athlete, and I’m a bit perplexed that the Jets elected to draft him and convert him to linebacker instead of just drafting a linebacker like Tony Fields II or Cameron McGrone.
Elijah Moore: Moore was one of my favorite players in the entire draft and I could not be more excited to watch him in this offense. Moore can win at all 3 levels and watching him mesh with Mims and Davis, as well as build a relationship with Wilson, is what I am looking forward to most this season. The Jets have fun skill players and that should be celebrated.
There’s no way I’m letting 5th round DB’s ruin all the good vibes that have been lacking with this franchise for a decade plus. Joe D is that dude and I would take a bullet for Bob Saleh. – MM
Aloe Vera Tucker AVT was the 9th player overall in my board, and was the 2nd safest player in this class behind Trevor Lawrence. A true plug and play guard with Quentin Nelson potential, I think we’re looking at the best guard in football in five years. Pairing him with future All-Pro Mehki Becton gives Gang Green two building blocks on the OL under the age of 25; this is the first time they’ve had this since the God Eric Mangini was picking players. A true home run for Joe Douglas.
Worst: Meeg Milly above may not want to pick on the terrible DBs picked, but I have no such qualms. However, I’m going to go with Jamien Sherwood and the 2nd Michael Carter. Hamsah Nasirildeen is the actual good version of what the Sherwood pick was supposed to symbolize. Sherwood is not good, and I am genuinely perplexed by the desire to take him where they did. I would’ve taken University of Miami TE Brevin Jordan over him. With the other Michael Carter, I would’ve taken Alabama OG Deonte Brown. Too many dart throws at DB for me from Joe D.
Best: Although I was tempted to go with the popular picks of Tucker and Moore, Michael Carter Jr. has the natural born athleticism to be an incredibly talented player. He’s consistently been the best defensive back on his Duke Blue Devil squad, a captain of the team, and he’s held his own with some of the best receivers in college football. His potential is as a starting nickel back, and I think he ultimately ends up being the starter on opening day. For a late round pick to get this level of value and a guy they coveted, the Jets have a potential steal on their hands.
Worst: I have to concur with Meegs here. Somewhere down the road we can nit pick this class. I’m sure I could now, but it’s rare to see this level of success from the Jets, and I think that should be celebrated rather than over analyzed right now.